From The National School Lunch Program to The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act

From The National School Lunch Program to The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act

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Will The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act recently signed into law on December 13, 2010 by President Barack Obama be able to deliver healthier meals in the schools nutrition programs or will the bill overwhelm struggling school districts with additional unfunded mandates? Schools confront difficult issues on a daily basis that affect the learning ability of their students: struggling economic conditions, students from poor families, increased food insecurity across the country, and constant pressures to increase student performance. Providing healthy meals for children, who otherwise would eat poorly or not at all, is a necessity that our country has recognized and planned for many decades. Two measures authorized permanently by Congress to address these issues are the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP). These programs provide a dietary safety net for children by ensuring that they have access to nutritionally sound meals during the school day, which result in better learning environment. Meals are provided to schoolchildren across the nation at either an affordable price, reduced price, or no charge to students whose families demonstrate an economic need. The National School Lunch Program was signed into law in 1946 by President Harry Truman as a measure to strengthen national security by reducing child malnutrition and to assist American farmers by providing a large government market for surplus foods. The School Breakfast Program was later added by Congress in 1966 as a pilot program and eventually signed into law in 1975. Today, we face a dual threat: increased food insecurity due to the pressures of economic recession and a rapid increase in childhood obesity ac...

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...K.B. Watson. "The Impact of School Socieconomic Status on lunch Consumption after Implementation of the Texas public School Nutrition Policy." Journal of School Health (2009): 525-531.
Edwards, J.U., L. Mauch and M. Winkleman. "Relationship of the Nutrition and physical activity behaviors and fitness measures to academic preformance for sixth graders in a midwest city school district." Journal of School Health (2011): 65-73.
Hoerr, S., M. Kakarala and D.R. Keast. "Schoolchildren's consumption of foods and beverages, excluding a'la carte." Journal of School Health (2010): 429-435.
Katz, C.S.,, et al. "Teaching healtful food choices to elementary school Students and their parents: the nutrition detectives program." Journal of School Health (2011): 21-28.
Samuels, C.A. "School groups worry revised lunch laws could burden districts." Education Week (2011): 22.

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